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Lab Rat

 

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Jasmine Keesler

Lab Rat Poem by Jasmine Kessler

Jasmine Keesler is a biotechnology Junior at UNCG. She enjoys expressing the turmoil in which complexity of complexion plays a role not only within the African-American community but also within the realm of the society we live in. In her poem, Lab Rat, she express her take on this issue primarily through photography but also through poetry. She think the auditory platform conveys my message more clearly and broadens the spectrum on colorism and what it means to be a women of color in this era.

 

There used to be such a high to being someone’s first.

“First,” in the sense of them venturing out

trying something new

and never acknowledging it again.

Like a free sample.

Like finally reading that book everyone’s been talking about.

And for fear of missing out on the fun

on the talk

on the taboo of it all

they search for it.

And disguise themselves as cultured

and “woke” on racial issues

and socioeconomic politics.

Then he spots you:

The book everyone’s been talking about.

And you let him open you up.

Flipping through your pages

with decrepit hands.

“You’re the first black girl I’ve ever slept with.”

You feel: Exotic and queen like.

Powerful because you have blessed someone

with the gleaming radiance

of melanin.

You feel: Valued

because your complexion never has been

and someone has taken interest in it;

all you have ever wanted.

You dedicate your time

to him.

Always readily available.

Too available.

And with each nightly visit and each stroke

and every morning or afternoon

where you offer to see him outside of

hushed apartment visits

and dim, slammed car doors,

he says

“I can’t, I have a lot of work to do today”

but as soon as the clock strikes 2 am

3 am

4 am

5 am

your “hotline blings.”

And like a fool

you answer it.

That is when your gleaming radiance of melanin

begins to dim.

Soon,

“You’re the first black girl I’ve ever slept with,”

turns into:

The Jungle Fever experiment.

He was the mad scientist

And you were the lab rat.

 

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